Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to a new age.
Welcome to the age of offence, the age of safe spaces and trigger warnings, the age of self diagnosed mental illness and the preaching of tolerance by way of intolerance. Welcome to the era of corrupted feminism, bastardised gender politics and twisted racial relations. Welcome to 2016, the year social justice disappeared up its own arsehole.
One of my previous posts also descended into a little diatribe on modern liberalism, but the stuff mentioned above is a different category entirely.
This isn’t liberal ideology pushed to the max, in fact it doesn’t really sit anywhere on the political spectrum at all, it’s a phenomenon that’s been wholly created and driven forwards by the internet and one website in particular. Tumblr. For those of you who don’t know what it is or what happens on there, let me break it down for you. Roughly 20% of tumblr is normal, people just posting shit, artwork or poetry or just blogging random stuff. Another 10-15% is porn, like a lot of porn, I mean you should see some of these pages. There’s pictures, and videos, and even gifs, gifs of porn, as if someone could get their jollies to the same motion repeated endlessly on a loop. Actually, people seem to like football quite a lot, maybe it isn’t so far fetched…
But the rest of tumblr, 65% or whatever I’m not so good at maths, is home to some of the most hilarious, histrionic, hysterical pseudo-psych social science babble ever to be expelled onto the bits and bytes of the internet.
There’s hardcore feminists calling for the death of all men, there’s lesbians hating on gay people, there’s transgender people telling asexual people they can’t sit with them, there’s a whole slew of bullshit made up terms for sexuality and gender, there’s people diagnosing themselves with PTSD, OCD, ADD, ADHD, anxiety issues and Aspergers and Dyslexia, and that’s all before we get to the minefield of clusterfuckery that is the “otherkin” phenomenon, a word so bullshitty that my laptop just tried to change it to “therein” repeatedly thinking I was having some sort of stroke.
For those of you who have never seen this website, never wish to, and have no idea what I’m talking about, consider yourselves lucky. This shit is infuriating, it’s a generation of teens growing up thinking that they’re special snowflakes owed some kind of preferential treatment by society and the world at large. It’s nothing more than narcissism and attention seeking disguised by co-opting genuine issues and turning them into a sideshow, manipulating them to suit personal agendas. It’s an attitude that is jaw dropping in its absurdity, and the worst thing is that it’s spreading.
Things that used to pop up as niche issues by people looking to turn everything into an issue are seeping slowly into the mainstream. The term “man spreading” took off early last year, because apparently having a dick and balls between your legs and therefore needing to space your thighs apart a little so you don’t batwing is some kind of patriarchy enforcing sexual harassment that warrants a billion think pieces in HuffPo.
Beyoncé’s recent performance at the Super Bowl was dissected by commenters who either saw it as some giant step for black empowerment, or as a further wedge being driven into America’s already fractured race relations. Most people, myself included, couldn’t give a fuck. She’s a good artist, she performed a decent song, whatever ties she attempted to make to the Black Panthers etc. were inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
(Seriously, all this and Taylor goddamn Swift wins album of the year over Kendrick’s absolutely incredible To Pimp A Butterfly, solid progress there guys, she really made a difference, give yourselves a hand).
A quick aside, if you will, on the concept of an “otherkin.” Otherkins are people, who probably also diagnosed themselves with some kind of mental condition (and probably actually have some), who believe that they are actually another entity that is merely trapped in a human body. It started off with animals, which is just pretty childlike, we’ve all run around howling like a wolf or meowing like a cat at some point during our single figure years. But then it spread, and people started identifying themselves as all kinds of shit. Star-kins, Egg-kins, Dragon-kins, I’m pretty sure I saw a screenshot of someone identifying themselves as a Plasma-kin. A fucking plasma-kin. I can’t even tell if that was a parody or not, because the “real” kins have gotten so bat shit insane that anything seems plausible.
For a fun game, comment on this post or under the Facebook link what kin you are, I’m pretty sure I’m a Brownie-kin. Soft and chocolatey with a gooey centre, and bad for your arteries.
But that’s just the tip of the influence iceberg, other shit has crept into real life so subtly that people haven’t even noticed. Did you notice when trigger warnings started appearing on things? I’m pretty sure they just popped up one day and everyone just shrugged and went “Eh, whatever, it’s no biggie.” I appreciate that some people might actually need trigger warnings, an article about rape may be distressing for rape victims, articles about war may affect veterans or those who suffer from PTSD, but do you really need one on a discussion about gender? Or about race? People have started asking for them at universities now, to be put on books on reading lists in case there’s a dated racial slur or sexist term that offends their delicate sensibilities.
Safe spaces are another one, Lena Dunham (she of sister molesting fame) apparently left Twitter because it wasn’t a safe space, which is just a cowardly way of saying “other people have different opinions to me and I can’t handle that because I think I’m so goddamn important.” Here’s a fun fact for you, people have different opinions, and they don’t have to give a flying fuck about your feelings.
This isn’t some rant against PC culture, political correctness in and of itself is no bad thing, you can’t really take issue with not using the N-word or paki as insults, essentially turning someone’s ethnicity into a joke. This is a long, rambling, poorly structured rant about the current slide we seem to be on towards a sanitised world.
A world where free speech is only allowed when it agrees with your own views, as Peter Tatchell found out recently, where people compete over who’s the most oppressed, who’s more of a minority, who’s more of a victim.
What these people don’t realise is that we don’t have a political spectrum, we have a political circle. Go too far to the right, complete deregulation etc., and you move from conservatism to the definition of liberty. Go too far to the left and you move from a government providing services to a government controlling services, dictation to dictatorship. This is what’s happening right now on the blogs and articles put out by oh so many self appointed arbiters of social justice. They don’t seem to understand that all they’re doing by crying victim and claiming offence at everything is merely another form of censorship. By silencing dissent they liken themselves more to the hard right than the hard left, actually no wait, is it the other way around. Haha no, it doesn’t even matter, because here’s the kicker – they’re the same fucking thing.
I read this quote a long time ago, and it’s stuck with me, and it’s one of the reasons why all of this bugs me so much. It’s from that most treasured of national treasures, Mr.Stephen Fry – “It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that”, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I’m offended by that.” Well, so fucking what?”
Now a lot of people have taken issue with this quote, saying Fry’s a bit of a hypocrite or he shouldn’t say what people can and can’t be offended by etc., but really read it, that’s not what he’s saying at all. What he’s saying is that claiming offence in and of itself means nothing to anyone but the person claiming offence, what he’s saying is that you’re no more special than any of the other 7 billion odd Homo Sapiens Sapiens currently wandering about this ball of dirt.
There’s more I want to say, but that starts drifting into other areas that warrant their own rant, so I’ll leave you all with this. If you are one of the people who uses tumblr, who thinks that all of the things I’ve disparaged are actual issues that bear serious consideration, feel free to write a comment or a response explaining why. Because as far as I can see, what we are soon going to have on our hands is a generation of people who (in the words of Father John Misty, praise be) have been “told too many times they’re beyond their years” by fellow precious flowers. And those are some people I really, really don’t want to meet in real life.
xoxo, The “Angry is my trigger word and Indian is cultural appropriation you cishet shitlord”